Tuesday, January 25, 2011


First post of the next project...6th blog post I'm pretty sure, but it's labeled Assigment #7.  Did I miss one, or is there just a discrepancy in the numbering?  Eh, who cares.

This next project is focusing on color palette (limited/broad/harmonious) and emotion in these paintings by Monet, all of which are of the same subject out his window. 

The Thames at Westminster(Westminster Bridge)
1871 (130 Kb); Oil on canvas, 47x72.5cm (18 1/2x28 1/2")
Collection Lord Astor of Hever: National Gallery, London
This painting has a very limited color palette, focusing on desaturated cool hues.  The dock and people working on it are brought into focus by using a more saturated and shaded green.  Kind of a bleary morning in this painting, like one you just don't want to be up for.

Houses of Parliament, London, Sun Breaking Through the Fog 
1904 (190 Kb); Oil on canvas, 81x92cm (31 7/8x36 1/4")
Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Using a more broad color palette, Monet employs a strong contrast between warm and cool to separate the buildings from the sky/water.  Not so much a harmonious color scheme, this one seems to run all over the place using all the primary and secondary colors.  While everything else kind of blends together, the tallest building has its straight lines carefully separated from the warmer fog behind it, which helps to pull your eye towards it away from the bright orange and yellow.  This one seems to be kind of harsh at first, with the highly saturated contrasting colors, mainly the blue and orange, but it is also warm and inviting.

Le Parlement, Effet de Brouillard
1904 (120 Kb); 82.6x92.7cm
Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg
Another harmonious limited color palette, this time using predominantly the complementary colors violet and yellow.  The figures in the boats stand out the most in this painting using a more saturated violet to distinguish them from the surrounding water.  This is a very dreamy calm painting, conveying peaceful stillness and quiet.

Houses of Parliament, London
1905 (50 Kb); Oil on canvas, 81x92cm (31 7/8x36 1/4")
Musee Marmottan, Paris
A limited color palette with the analogous grouping of blue, violet, green and yellow.  Your focus is pulled directly to the tallest building using a more vibrant blue-violet than the surrounding structures, as well as the vertical line created with the light in the sky and its corresponding reflecting in the water.  This painting has kind of a brooding feel to it when viewed back with little detail evident.

What do you think?

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